Why You Should Attend FestPac 2020

Why You Should Attend FestPac 2020

If you should go to this life-changing event, here are some things to expect and avoid.
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First of all, FestPac is short for the Festival of Pacific Arts. It’s an event that has occurred every four years since 1972 with the purpose of gathering various island nations to showcase their cultures in several ways (dancing, carving, storytelling, etc.). FestPac is meant to encourage the learning of each island's respective culture to ensure that the cultures do not die out. It's meant to bring an appreciation of one's roots and show that our little Pacific Islands have a lot of history. This year, FestPac 2016 had Guam hosting the event. In total, there were 27 delegations that partook in the festivities. I think that we did a fairly good job at accommodating our visitors and showing them what Guam is all about.

I always seem to mention this, but going to school in the States allowed me to find more of myself. I was able to better appreciate my roots and who I was. I began to miss the values and customs that I grew up with. Like any Chamorro that leaves Guam, I became obsessed with representing the island.

When I returned for the summer, I had completely forgotten that the Festival of Pacific Arts was being hosted on Guam. Unfortunately, the first day that FestPac began, I got sick and I didn't attend the festivities for a week. When I finally started feeling better, I went with my friend and I was amazed. Seeing all the different island nations expressing their love for their culture made me appreciate who I was even more.

Therefore, I came up with a few reasons why you should attend FestPac 2020 in Hawaii.

1. The Experience

I don’t have a lot of money to travel every four years to the hosting island. Having the event on Guam allowed so many people to discover what our fellow Pacific Islanders are like. I was happy to discover that we're not entirely different from our brothers and sisters in neighboring islands. It really shows that although we’re not on one huge land mass, we’re still connected.

There's also the chance to just feel everything. It really hits you on a spiritual level when you see the passion and joy that the islanders have in their roots. It's truly a sight to behold and something that I hope to experience again in 2020.

2. The Delegates

Not to be shallow, but damn, some of the islands have incredibly beautiful people. One island in particular, Rapa Nui (or Easter Island), was constantly being mentioned on social media for the men they had as dancers. Although I do admit that they were pretty nice to look at, I preferred the people from the Cook Islands. In all, I thought everyone was extremely beautiful, which made me feel like a taro.

3. The Dances

I'm sure that everyone really enjoyed the dancing. Seeing the differences and the similarities between our dances and theirs was interesting. It was overwhelming to hear the harmonies of New Zealand and the gracefulness of French Polynesia - Tahiti. And, as my cousin pointed out, nearly every island had a song about birds, so that's pretty darn exciting.



4. The Other Cultural Showcases

For the first time in forever, Guam was really exposed to something more than itself. Seeing all the weaving, carpentry, blacksmithing, even theater performances, was breathtaking. It's almost like waiting for mango to grow and watching it carefully and by the time you pick it, it's perfect. It's not too sour, not too sweet, but just in between the two.


Still, there are things I did not like and things you shouldn't do.

1. Don't Get Down With The Sickness

For a entire week I was sick and was unable to attend the activities. I regret it so much, because when I finally went I wanted to see more. However, FestPac was ending in a week and it was nearly impossible to see everything. Ultimately, I was left sad that I didn't get to watch all the performances and see all the demonstrations.

2. Do Not Complain

There were so many people complaining about some mishaps at the start of the event. They made claims that Guam was doing terrible at hosting, but I firmly believe we did freaking amazing. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers, the mayors of our respective villages, and the people of Guam, it was a success. Nobody’s perfect, but we sure as hell did a great job this year. So, a round of applause to you, Guam. You did amazing and from what we all heard at the closing ceremonies, the other islands thought so too.

3. It's Going to Be Crowded

I hate big crowds and going to FestPac meant I’d have to brave those big crowds. Some people were so rude when finding seats, others would cut lines to get wares. Being around so many rude people at once is taxing, but you have to brave it if you want to be apart of something as spectacular as FestPac.


I probably won’t see it ever again, so if you have the chance, go!

Since FestPac happens every four years and assuming all 27 island nations will continue to participate, FestPac will not be hosted on Guam until 104 years from now. It’s unfortunate, because I am not living until I’m 124. Maybe they can make FestPac every two years to cut that time in half, because I do not have the money to travel to the host island every four years.

All in all, FestPac was the most delicious thing I have experienced in 2016 so far. It was great that Guam was exposed to the cultures of other people. It expands the borders of our little island and allows the people of Guam to see just how big the world is. Thank you to all the delegations for making FestPac 2016 a huge success. I can't wait to attend FestPac 2020 in Hawaii!

Cover Image Credit: Lee Lemley

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Everything You Need To Know About The New Abortion Ban In Several States

DISCLAIMER: the following does not include any of my personal beliefs/opinions.

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Abortion has and will always be a controversial and very sensitive topic for all genders. The following article delves into the details about the Alabama abortion ban that was signed to be a law which, if it passes, will be in effect January 2020 and briefly touches on the Georgia Heartbeat Bill.

Roe v. Wade (1973)

In 1973, Roe v. Wade 410 was passed in the U.S. by the Supreme Court. In short, this ruled that the Due Process Clause along with the 14th Amendment in the Constitution would work to give pregnant women the choice to choose whether or not they wanted an abortion AND should coincide with the government's personal agenda to protect the health of all who is involved. What I mean by this is that the Supreme Court decided during the second trimester of a pregnancy, abortions would be allowed. But, if it is the third trimester, abortion is to be prohibited unless the health of the mother is in danger. This law catapulted the abortion debate which is still going on today.


Abortion vs. Alabama

Alabama's governor, Kay Ivey, signed off on a bill that will basically ban all abortions, including rape, incest, any abnormality, and if the mother's life is in danger on May 14, 2019 after acquiring approval from 25 Senators . This could be a problem considering that it very much contradicts Roe v. Wade (1973). To Ivey, the bill is a reflection of the values in which the citizens of Alabama believe: all life is precious and a gift from God.


Governor of the State of Alabama, Kay Ivey (pictured above). home.bt.com

The governor of Georgia also signed a bill to ban abortion after detecting the slightest heartbeat which is approximately around the six-week pregnancy period (around the time most women discover that they are pregnant). Another important take on this is that despite the rift and debate that is going on between Democrats and Republicans, most Republicans believe that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. This is looking more like a possibility considering most of the Supreme Court consists of people who support the Republican party. In short, the main idea is to ban abortion in all of the United States, not just in some states like it is currently. In regards to Alabama, the bill still has not been enacted into a law and could possibly encounter delay in the Supreme Court because, after all, this is a very debated topic. For now, abortion is still legal until January 2020 or when it becomes a law.

Conditions of the Abortion Law

The conditions of the abortion law explicitly states that abortion during any stage of a pregnancy is prohibited and if any medical professional aids in the practice/procedure of an abortion, they will face up to 99 years in prison. If an attempt is made to perform an abortion procedure, an individual can be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Women who successfully get an abortion or attempt to will be prosecuted as well. However, only those who provide another with an abortion will be punished in Alabama, not the one receiving the service.

No form of abortion is allowed including: rape, incest, life-threatening abnormality, or putting the life of the mother in danger.


Alabama expected to approve controversial abortion bill www.youtube.com


Two Sides to the Debate

Although most Republicans support the law, the Democratic party has combatted the notion of it. Many opponents of the ban state that the restriction can put the lives of many in danger and affects women of color and those who are living in poverty heavily. ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights have also declared that they will sue. Many young people have also reached out to social media websites such as Twitter and Instagram to voice their opinions:

Tweets from individuals who are anti-abortion ban www.wnd.com

Many celebrities have also stated their opinions on the matter. Rihanna stated in one of her Instagram posts, "Take a look," referring to a picture of 25 Senators in Alabama who approved the abortion bill, "These are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. Governor Kay Ivey...SHAME ON YOU!!!"

Although both sides clearly have their opinions on the debate of pro-life/pro-choice, one thing we all can agree on is that this will be a long process that can make or break the lives of a lot of people in our nation.

Until next time,

Salsa.

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